I'm not going to be making an endorsement for our Party Chair in this diary. Hell, a lot of the folks who actually have a vote have been SEC members longer than I've even been a Democrat. They'd be foolish to set aside their own knowledge and experience in favor of my choice, even if I did have a vote. Which I don't.
With that in mind, you may wonder about the title of the diary itself. I chose that because we all need to take ownership of the Party. And that also means taking responsibility for the Party's actions, both good and bad.
Whoever is sitting in that Chair after tomorrow is going to have a lot on his or her plate, but possibly the most important task is to redefine what the Party stands for. It's not enough to raise money and nurture the grassroots; the very character of the Party needs to be raised and nurtured.
Honestly, if you were to ask me just what the Party stands for, I'd be hard-pressed to come up with an answer. I can tell you what the Platform says, or what I want the Party to stand for, and those two answers would not be notably different. But when I take in the whole picture, which includes some pretty sorry legislation and some borderline criminal ethical lapses, well. That damned picture gets pretty messy.
And the thing is, it isn't they who messed it up, it's us. It isn't a cabal of greedy corporatists or a resilient insider's club, it's the rank and file who believe the word "Victory!" can somehow magically ensure the best possible policy gets enacted. Well, it doesn't work like that.
We've got some damned fine Democratic Legislators in Raleigh who have more trouble promoting good ideas than some who have their mediocrity fast-tracked. Case in point: The Environmental Caucus, which should be one of the most formidable of voting blocs, could car-pool to the Legislature in a hybrid SUV, and still have room for all their stuff. If they were still together, that is.
My point is this: Leaders need to have the guts to stand up for what's right, not what's expedient. That's how you change minds. Yes, Democrats have achieved some good things in the past few years, but God knows what compromises have been arrived at to facilitate such. And one step forward with one step back is not progress, it's dancing.
The NCDP Chair needs to have energy and zeal. But behind those two things needs to be purpose and principle. If the Democratic Party can't provide that for the people of our State, who will?